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New Mall in Kazakhstan is World’s
Largest Tent

Winter temperatures in Astana, the new capital of Kazakhstan, are extremely frigid, averaging around negative 31 degrees Fahrenheit. But in summer, the mercury regularly soars to a sizzling 95 degrees. So when top British architect Norman Foster designed Astana’s newly-opened Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center, he opted for a unique energy-efficient material that would accommodate both seasonal extremes.

The sculpted, teepee-shaped building features a “skin” composed of three layers of the transparent polymer ethylene tetraflouroethylene. ETFE is a “miracle” material because it is clear, so it can replace glass or plastic, but is also stretchable. Moreover, it’s light, just a fraction of the weight of glass, but so strong it can support 400 times its weight. It also lets in more light than glass or plastic and makes an excellent insulation material.

As Khan Shatyr demonstrates, the effect can be stunning: The building rises 495 feet into the sky, with tripod columns and a network of cables supporting the ETFE skin. Inside, 660,000 square feet of space is packed with shops, restaurants, movie theaters, and a water park. The outsized tent will surely become a favorite for locals, no matter the weather outside.


9 Responses to “New Mall in Kazakhstan is World’s
Largest Tent”

  1. This is so awesome. Who knew you could even do that, I know i didnt

  2. Very Impressive.

    ETFE Seems like it could become a very widespread material used as a glass replacement, if it’s cheap to mass produce.

  3. this is veryyy coool(:

  4. This is really wonderful.

  5. awsme…ETFE is revolutionary ..multi traited material
    and will have its effects in the coming time for sure

  6. i wonder if the world will exprience climate change every hour.. then all houses must be built in ETFE

  7. […] New Mall in Kazakhstan is World’s Largest Tent […]

  8. very nice picture

  9. what’s the name of this building?

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